It was Christmas Eve of 2001. My two siblings and I were excited for the season. We snuggled down into our beds, waiting for the thrill of the morning. We knew that as soon as the sun was up, we would sprint into the living room and begin to frantically tear apart the layers of perfectly wrapped paper, which was the only thing that separated us from our new gifts. We probably would end up fighting over who got the biggest present and would laugh at the one who got the silliest gift. Then, we would spend the rest of the day drinking hot cocoa or eggnog and eating way too much honey-baked ham. With our childlike wonder, we dreamt of morning.
However, in the room across the hall, our mother was wide-awake. Unlike us, she was not excited for morning to come. What would normally be a time of celebration was now overshadowed by feelings of anxiety, fear, and unworthiness. After our parents’ divorce, she was struggling to make ends meet. Although she worked three jobs to provide for the family, our mother didn’t have enough money to buy any groceries for the holiday season, let alone Christmas gifts. Faced with a huge financial burden, she cried out to the Lord in prayer, hoping that the Way Maker would make a way for our family. All she could do was hold on to her faith until morning.
On Christmas day, my siblings and I awoke to a loud cry coming from the other end of the house. We ran into the kitchen and the back door was swung wide open. Outside, we found our mother sitting in the middle of a mountain of food. Boxes and boxes were full of canned goods and staple items, including the ham and eggnog. Our mom sat there and wept for the great Christmas blessing we had received. The Lord had answered her prayer, for He hears the cry of the righteous and is near to the brokenhearted (Psalm 34:17-18).
I’ve never forgotten how the Lord provided for my family that day. At a time of struggle and great need, He grew our faith and proved Himself faithful. Because someone else decided to be the hands and feet of Jesus for us, our lives were never again the same.
This Christmas season, will you be the hands and feet of Jesus? If you want to be the one to bless a family with food, here’s how you can help: give to the Christmas Food Project, which is designed to help end food insecurity in Middle Tennessee. 1 in 5 children in the state of Tennessee struggles with hunger. You have the opportunity to help by purchasing a box of food, which includes two weeks’ worth of meals for families. You can also help us pack the food boxes at one of our locations, and you can participate with our ministry partners. Get involved with the Christmas Food Project to help end food insecurity, and let’s feed the faith of our community together.